By JEFF LAMPE
For The Weekly Post
PRINCEVILLE – If the last tournament final left a bitter taste in the mouth of Elmwood girls basketball players, last week’s finale was a much sweeter experience. Elmwood (14-3) won five games in 50 hours to win the 10th annual Lee Westerman Tournament, and the closest contest was a 52-32 win over Tremont, which finished second in the tournament.
“It’s a much nicer way to end a tournament than the Knoxville Tournament, when we were just kind of flat,” Elmwood Coach Gregg Meyers said. “Defense is probably the best thing going for us right now. If we’re going to win games, and by double digits, it’s because we hold people under 35.”
At Princeville, Elmwood outscored foes by an average of 50-24, despite missing four players for most of the tournament. Guard Mae Herman missed four games, but returned against Tremont.
In that game, Melody Glenn tallied 16 points, Herman had 11 and Liv Meyers scored 10 inside. Similar scoring patterns emerged for the other games.
Against Princeville on Dec. 28, Elmwood trailed 7-6 after one quarter before running off with a 48-26 win behind Meyers (20 points) and Glenn (19 and 5 treys).
“They have inside-outside. They’ve got three really good post players. They’ve got it all,” Princeville Coach John Gross said of the Lady Trojans. “They’ve got what I had for those three years when we won 30 games [per year].”
Earlier that day, Elmwood topped Galva, 42-18, behind 14 from Glenn and 10 apiece from post players Meyers and Lauren Rushing.
On Dec. 27, the Lady Trojans topped Midland (55-16) thanks to 14 from Glenn and 11 apiece from Rushing and Bre Turner. Later that day, Elmwood beat Bushnell-Prairie City (53-27) behind Meyers (18), Glenn (11) and Rushing (11).
“I felt like sophomore Lauren Rushing had a breakout tournament,” Coach Meyers said. “She was able to help us out significantly by providing 8.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.”
Glenn led with 14.8 ppg, but Meyers also credited Turner for her defense and 20 assists and Ainsley Faulkner for 22 assists and for being “a constant pest” on defense, where she made 17 steals and had 19 deflections.
“The fact we are 14-3 is that all those guys have been contributing all the way along,” Coach Meyers said.
Elmwood was to play at Farmington on Wednesday and is home vs. Ridgewood on Thursday.
A lack of shots and a lack of made free throws doomed Brimfield (13-2) in a battle of top-ranked teams in the title game of the small school girls portion of the State Farm Classic on Dec. 30.
Class 1A No. 1 Brimfield made just 9 of 22 free throws vs. Class 2A No. 1 Winnebago (17-0) and the Lady Indians did not get as many field-goal attempts as usual en route to a 57-42 loss. A 16-5 second-quarter run boosted Winnebago to a 33-17 halftime lead it would not yield.
“For the game as a whole, and especially the second quarter, we didn’t get up enough shots,” Brimfield Coach Maribeth Dura said. “They put up probably twice as many shots as us, which is unusual. We’re usually the team that puts up twice as many as the other team.”
Ella Lune scored 28 points to keep Brimfield in the game.
The Lady Indians had better balance in a 42-40 semifinal win over Paris, the No. 3 ranked team in Class 2A. Jaclyn Fabry led with 16 points, Lune added 11 and Elynn Peterson had 9 for Brimfield, which again struggled on free throws, going 10-for-22.
“We’d like [Fabry] to do that all the time,” Dura said. “Her shots were good and she was really solid at both ends.”
Brimfield had won its quarterfinal game over Rock Falls, 45-30, on Dec. 28. Lune had 20, Sophie Bedell scored 10 and Fabry had 7, but Peterson suffered a sprained ankle in the game that Dura said slowed her some in the two final contests.
In its opener on Dec. 27, Brimfield routed El Paso-Gridley, 60-25, as Peterson had 17, Lune scored 16 and Elly Doe added 9.
“We came out of this with some things we have to work on,” Dura said. “That’s our New Year’s resolution: To get better, crisper and work harder.”
Brimfield was at Midwest Central on Wednesday and travels to Stark County on Saturday.
The Lady Princes (7-6) finished 3-2 at their tournament with wins over Galva (45-23), BPC (62-33) and Midland (58-15) and losses to Tremont (61-56) and Elmwood (48-26).
“We beat who we thought we would, had a close game with Tremont and Elmwood just blew us away after the first quarter and a half,” Coach Gross said. “Caitlyn Thole and Destinee Harwood both had five good games for us.”
Thole scored 14 against Elmwood, but got in foul trouble in the first half and came out of the tournament with an aching shoulder. That’s one of several ailments for Princeville, which was without starter Leah Wieland and two other players Monday in a 55-49 win at Knoxville.
The Lady Princes were to play Galva at home Wednesday and then travel to Peoria Heights on Thursday.
Prior to a long break for the holidays, Farmington (7-8) won its last game on Dec. 22, topping Knoxville, 48-45 despite trailing 16-6 after one quarter.
“We played great team defense after the first quarter and Riley Jansen had a great game,” Coach Brad Whitcomb said.
Jansen was one of eight players who scored for Farmington and she tallied all 18 of her team-high points after the first quarter.
Delaney Foster added 13 points, with 7 from the free throw line.
Deer Creek-Mackinaw had to postpone Monday’s game for COVID complications. Farmington was to be home against Elmwood Wednesday and travels to Tremont Saturday.
By JEFF LAMPE